You did a great job marketing your products and services to your home country, and now you want to take on a new challenge. You are proud of all your local achievements, and you want to share it with the world. If these thoughts are going on inside your head, it is probably time for your brand to go global.
Expanding your brand’s reach is an exciting thing to do, but it requires more hard work and investment than you can imagine. With that, we want to help you make the most out of your decision with the tips below that can guide you on your venture.
Your Brand Is Going Global: What Does That Mean?
Having a website accessible to any part of the world 24/7 is not the definition of going global. It is much more than that.
Going global means bringing your brand to different cultures and audiences and reaching these people the way you did with your local market. It is introducing your brand, your values and mission included, in a way they will understand, accept, and find helpful.
Think of successful global brands like Airbnb, Netflix, Uber, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and more. They have both the reach and the market in their respective areas. They are still working within their umbrella branding, and people from different countries understand what they are all about. They even made these brands part of their lives.
Before you bring your brand to the global market, you need to have a plan. You need to do your research, and you need a team with different backgrounds to help you out. It is not a simple decision you can make overnight. You will encounter various steps, and you need to make a lot of considerations.
Part I. Finding Your Target
Unfortunately, you cannot capture the entire world in an instant. You need to be clear with your target so that you can prepare accordingly. Choosing a specific group of people first can help you make any necessary updates and tweaks. Knowing your target country will also help you realize and fix the requirements needed if there is any.
Here are some critical steps to do:
- Choose and understand the new market
Any business comes with a big risk, but it does not mean you should just take a chance every time. Before choosing any new location, check based on your current stats, which countries you have more potential of succeeding. Which areas do you have more traffic coming from? Which audience is more likely to invest in your products and services?
To limit any uncertainty, you need to research the market you are entering. Learn about the facts, the competition, and also the demand forecast, if you can. Knowing all these can help you estimate how much commercial success you should anticipate or prepare for and whether the new venture would be worth it.
- Learn about the culture
Knowing your audience is one thing; learning about their culture is another. You need to keep in mind that different countries and groups of people think differently. This step is crucial because you need to make little adjustments for your brand to be more accepted.
For example, in the UK, more partnerships and deals happen in physical locations than in emails. In Germany, they prefer replying to messages written in their language. In Japan, they would prefer it if your website is translated into their language. Knowing these facts can help you list down what next steps you should take, and tweaking your methods to fit these little details can help you achieve your desired results.
Part II. Preparing Your Brand
Do you notice why not all McDonald’s around the world offer the same menu and sometimes the same taste of their food? It is because they adjust their brand to meet the needs of their specific market. You have to do the same for your brand. There are certain things you should go through about your brand before you offer them to a particular market.
- Adjust your strategy
Because your strategy for your home country worked does not mean it will work the same for other countries. You do not need to veer away entirely from your core messaging, though. You only need to find a way to convince people from another country to try your brand or make a switch.
To do this, you need to keep an eye on the competition and see how they do their job. Identify how you can participate in this competition and how your brand can win in a particular section.
- Check your brand translation
Brand guidelines and brand principles should be followed at all times; however, before you implement the same rules in a new place, you need to do some checking first.
- Assess whether your brand translates the same in their language and culture.
- Make sure that all of your marketing communications are delivered in a culturally appropriate way.
In some countries, colors and symbols have different meanings and impacts. Some words or phrases may sound offensive even when you do not mean it. You need to be careful and sensitive since you are a newcomer into their market. Having a trusted local partner to help you understand these nuances can help make your global effort a success.
You also need to make sure you are protecting your intellectual property. Know that the law of intellectual property rights differs from country to country. You need to abide by their rules to protect yourself. Seek the help of an attorney who is well-versed in international intellectual property law, and adjust your brand accordingly.
- Prepare for expansion
Now that you are mentally prepared, you need to be physically prepared too. If you are selling products, make sure that you can meet the higher demands in production, shipping, and warehousing. Doing your research well at the beginning can help you predict how much increase you should be anticipating.
You also need to check if you need to change your packaging. In some countries, using plastics is not advisable. Some countries prefer using boxes. Check out if there are any mandatories or requirements for packaging in these areas and apply them to your business.
Lastly, you also need to prepare your website for your new audience. Creating a translated version for a different market would be a good idea. Although it will require a considerable investment, if you know your new audience would appreciate it better and the effort will translate to more sales, you need to trust that and make it happen. Making your payment options accessible online and shipping available worldwide can help bring your business to the next level.
- Build local relationships in these countries
Preparing your strategy and logistics is not the end of the process. You also need to establish a good relationship with local suppliers from that country. It is one way of expanding your business distribution channels and market.
It is also one method of knowing more about the local community and the business community in the city you are targeting. Finding the right local partner can help you prevent taking any missteps, and they can help you see opportunities you would not notice otherwise.
Working on your brand alone for a local market is already challenging. Bringing it outside of your comfort zones will demand more work and attention. While going global is not impossible, you must study all the steps you need to take to make the best decisions for the business. It is like starting over again but not from scratch and with more background knowledge. Understanding the new country you are targeting and tweaking your brand to cater to their needs can help succeed.
Using an all-in-one marketing platform can help make the intricate work of bringing your brand to an international market easier and more manageable. If you are looking for a marketing plan software that serves as a campaign planning tool, funnel mapping tool, live analytics tool, and team collaboration tool in one, consider checking MarketPlan. Contact us today to learn more.